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Intel-Google love-in leaves MeeGo going nowhere

Red-headed penguin stepchild Cinderella

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Comment Intel has jumped into bed with Google, but the palpable excitement emanating from both companies seems incongruous - as it signals doom for the chip giant's child from its previous marriage of convenience, MeeGo.

It was only nineteen months ago that Intel and Nokia announced they were combining their respective Linux platforms into MeeGo. It was to be Nokia's reply to Android, and Intel's entry into a mobile industry hitherto dominated by chips based on ARM's architecture. But Nokia switched tack, deciding it needed Microsoft's help to take on the Chocolate Factory, and now Intel has jumped aboard the Android bandwagon, leaving MeeGo adrift from parents that no longer love it.

Intel will pay lip service to supporting MeeGo development for a while, just in case one of the Asian manufacturers picks it up and runs with it, but that's a remote possibility at best. Ultimately Intel doesn't care what OS runs on its hardware, but MeeGo is as dead as LiPS and more dead than LiMo - just another mobile Linux variant that no one wants.

Intel has lived on the WinTel alliance, but Microsoft's suggestion that it is approaching new friends threatens that. While shacking up with Nokia on the rebound seemed a good idea at the time, Nokia has emotional problems of its own. Intel's new pals aren't likely to be any more faithful, but an open relationship is better than no relationship at all.

So for Intel this is a good move. Declaring its commitment to Android demonstrates it has a strategy to plough into the mobile world, something the shareholders have been desperate to hear, but it confirms MeeGo as more of a never-ran than an also-ran. ®

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